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Welcome to the Shades of Spring and Summer

The onset of the spring and summer 2003 season welcomes the introduction of several distinctive palettes of color for the home. Color groups offer homeowners unique options that reinforce the reoccurring desire for comfort, strength and energy; as well as the ability to instill beauty and renewal within the home.

At the forefront of spring and summer's residential interior and exterior trends, optimistic and cleaner colors relay a feeling of patriotism. Exciting intensities of reds and blues serve as prominent color stories. Neutrals continue to play a major role in the color arena through the layering of monochromatic shades of the same hue, or serving as a backdrop for strong accent color schemes.

Upcoming color palettes may categorized into distinctive groups that create a specific mood within the space. Soft tones portray a comforting ambience. Fresh colors provide a breezy flair within an area. Rich tones highlight deep shades that bring warmth to an otherwise cold room. The bright palette provides contrast and creates a stimulating and fun atmosphere. Versatile whites offer the flexibility to spotlight various distinctive tones that may be present within the space. Neutrals consist of updated mid-tones that are heavily inspired by nature.

The "soft" palette consists predominantly of romantic shades of pinks & reds. Dusty rose, muted mulberry, pale blush, carnation, pink icing and cotton candy provide welcome comfort while hinting at gentle color.

Fresh shades of cool blues and greens such as aqua, azure, sky blue, turquoise, teal and apple green lend an airy aura, ideal for compact areas with low ceilings or rooms that lack natural light.

Rich shades of reds, blues and purples surface as shades of wine, clay, brick, cranberry, midnight blue, deep nautical blue, grape and plum to provide bold warmth within open concept homes or expansive areas that contain elevated ceilings.

Vivid blues, greens, oranges and yellows appear as lively sapphire, royal, emerald, lime, tangerine, nectarine, butterscotch and dandelion. Mixed with crisp whites, these bright tones offer a lively atmosphere within even the darkest spaces.

 Flexible whites contain variations of "basic" white and include hints of pastels, cool pearly whites or creamy whites, such as ivory or vanilla. An intriguing twist on traditional "white" tones, these whites bestow a contemporary spin on a timeless favorite, adding style and a tad of color to any surface. An ideal way to introduce a specialty paint technique, dimension and texture lend stylish character to flexible white tones.

Neutral tones take the form of natural themes and focus on hues such as sand, ecru, tan, moss, fern, wheat, soapstone and straw. Consumers increased preferences for natural materials such as woods, metals and stone particularly harmonize with the added demand for the earthly neutral color palette.

There is never a better time than the present to consider a color "facelift" for any or all of the home! Do-it-yourself enthusiasts can start small by tackling simpler home improvement paint projects. Rather than renovating an entire paint color scheme, consider injecting splashes of any of the new seasons "hot" color vignettes onto various surfaces within the home.

Gail McCauley for the
Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

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